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10 Ways to Reduce Stress this Holiday Season

10 Ways to Reduce Stress this Holiday Season

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone. There always seems to be so much rushing, stressing, planning, and preparation to do, which may lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, tired, and stressed. That’s why it’s so important to stay stress-free over the holidays, otherwise, you run the risk of feeling worn out and tired. 

We’ve got 10 tips for everyone to try and keep calm and as stress-free as possible over this festive season.

Let go of high expectations

It’s easy to get wrapped up in a fairy tale of the perfect holiday, especially around holiday time, due to childhood memories, Christmas movies, or even what we see on social media. But it’s important to remember that nothing is perfect, even the holiday season. Getting together with family can often end in conflict, plans can get changed last minute, and things can go wrong. If you stay realistic and let go of expectations, you can look out for the happy special moments, whatever happens.

Set intentions

It’s often the little things that make the holidays so special, like being with family or taking a few moments out to relax. It can be easy to get swept up in the planning and the chaos of the holidays and miss those little moments. That’s why it’s important to sit down and think about the things that you truly want to do, so you can spend your time more mindfully. Figuring out what you love about the holidays and making sure that is front and center is a great way to stay focused on what really matters.

Simplify your schedule

It’s so easy to over-schedule during the festive season, on top of all the chores and planning we have to do. It can help to write down everything you need and want to do and plan out when you’re going to do it, so you can be sure you’re not taking on too much, and to help you feel present. Also, make sure you’re not saying yes to things you don’t have the time or energy for. Remember, no one has the capacity, energy, or time to do absolutely everything.

Plan ‘you’ time

While you plan your schedule, make sure you plan some time for yourself every day. Taking time for yourself can ensure you’re not constantly running around after other people. Try going for a walk, taking a bath, or cooking something nice for yourself - whatever makes you feel calm. 

Ask for help

Even if you’re hosting, don’t feel like you have to take everything on yourself. Ask for help from your guests if you need it to help alleviate the stress of cooking and entertaining big groups of people. Why not ask people to bring a dish, to help lighten the load of preparing food?

Prepare, prepare, prepare

If you’re cooking, try to prepare dishes that can be left alone in the oven or a slow cooker, rather than having to watch dishes up until the last minute. That way, you can actually spend time with your guests rather than spending all your time in the kitchen. Again, let go of the need for everything to be perfect, and instead prioritize spending time with your loved ones. 

Record memories

Remember to stop and remember the little and special moments that make up the holiday season. Being present and mindful is a way to remember the holidays and create amazing memories. Sit back, look around, and immerse yourself in what is happening right in front of you, and pay attention to the little moments you see. This is a great way to take time out and enjoy yourself fully.

Give meaningful gifts

Sometimes we give gifts for the sake of it, and stress ourselves out in the process, spending too much money and time finding the perfect gift. Try to reduce the number of gifts you give and receive this year, or draw names among your family and friends, so you can focus your efforts on one or two gifts rather than tens. Also, think about gifting experiences, and things to do together rather than something physical - this way you can make more memories with your loved ones.

Remember to relax

If you feel overwhelmed, try some relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing. Muscle relaxation is also an excellent tool to have in your arsenal to help you let go of stress. Starting at your feet, tense your muscles for 5 seconds, then release them. Work your way up your body, you can identify areas of your body you might not realize are holding tension. This can be a great way to destress.

Postpone things until after the New Year

If your December is getting booked up, don’t be scared to push some of those catch-ups until January. You don’t have to see everyone before the holidays, and by delaying social engagements, you can take some things out of a busy schedule and buy yourself some more time.

By Amy Cavill

Practice the Yoga Challenge for Busy People to help you get onto your yoga mat this holiday season!

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